Awkward's Ashley Rickards on a Darker Season: Jenna Is All the More Lost
by Robyn Ross
Awkward. is about to get even more awkward.
It took nearly three seasons for Jenna Hamilton (Ashley Rickards) and Matty McKibben (Beau Mirchoff) to truly be happy together — but in one fell swoop, Jenna threw it all away. On the midseason finale, Jenna gave into temptation and kissed Colin Jennings. (Nolan Funk), the new guy that had caught her eye. So where does Jenna go from here?
“These back ten episodes are very different,” Rickards tells TVGuide.com. “Jenna is taking it to a dark place. She’s numb… and she’s really trying to understand what she did. Jenna has made some decisions for the first time that weren’t the best ones, and she has to pay the price.”
As seen in the season trailer, Jenna doesn’t quite regret her mistake. In fact, she struggles with whether or not she should go further down the path with Colin or tell Matty the truth and beg for forgiveness. “Jenna is really torn between this new, exciting part of her life,” Rickards says. “Going into the season, she’s wondering who she’s become these past three seasons. Is this who she wants to be? Is she satisfied? Colin took her down a path that was a little different, and now she’s stuck.”
Jenna will also come to realize that the secret of her illicit kiss causes major damage to her relationships with her best friends Tamara (Jillian Rose Reed) and Ming (Jessica Lu). “Her decisions greatly affect her friendships,” Rickards adds. “[It was hard] when my character stopped being friends with those two girls because in real life they’re real good friends to me. In the end, she doesn’t want to hurt people, but sometimes her best efforts don’t help.”
Ultimately, Jenna will take these next ten episodes to figure out who she is and what she wants — and she’ll do a lot of the discovery with no one by her side. “She really has to start from ground zero with her friends and parents,” Rickards says. “She gets a lot of second chances, [but] the damage is already done. In a lot of ways, these episodes are a darker take on the show, but it’s ever more real … and she’s just all the more lost.”
Watch a clip from the Awkward. premiere, which airs on Tuesday at 10:30/9:30c on MTV.